Kickboard Exercise

Use a kickboard for aerobic activity to increase water resistance and build muscle.
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A swim board, or kickboard, is a convenient tool easily accessible at public pools. It can be used for more than just kicking across the pool; it can be used to increase water resistance for aerobic exercises to increase intensity and improve balance. Water aerobics increase the heart rate and build muscle strength, with little impact on joints. Talk to your doctor before beginning a water aerobics program.

    Complete stomach balances with a kickboard. This exercise requires strong arm, leg, abdominal and butt muscles to stay balanced on the kickboard. This exercise is a water adaptation of the dry-land Pillar Bridge position or planks with arms raised. Submerge your body so you are in waist-length water. Place the kickboard under your stomach. Raise your arms shoulder-length apart in front of you in Superman position. Legs should be straight behind you, hip-length apart. Hold for one- to three-minute increments and repeat three or four times.

    Do back presses with a kickboard. Hold the kickboard behind your back, arms shoulder-length apart. The kickboard should be comfortably a few inches below the water’s surface. Push the kickboard down with your hands until your elbows are straight. Raise your arms again and repeat. To make this exercise more challenging, cross your ankles so your legs are suspended in water between the surface and bottom of the pool. Do not touch your legs or feet to the bottom of the pool. Complete back presses in the same manner by relying on strong core muscles. Repeat 10 times and complete two to three sets.

    Scull on a kickboard by moving your hands in a circular movement just below the water's surface. Arms should be in front of you, elbows slightly bent and palms facing downward while you move your hands in a sweeping figure-eight or circular motion. Sculling while sitting on a kickboard develops balance by focusing on your core muscles as they keep you steady in the water. Make sure no one is near as you scull, since the kickboard can swing out quickly from underneath you and injure those swimming next to you. Sit on the kickboard and tuck your legs underneath to keep the board from moving. Scull in front of your body by sweeping your arms with palms facing inward and sweeping palms in an outward motion. Breathe slowly throughout the exercise; don't hold your breath. Scull for one- to two-minute increments and repeat three to four times.

    Do kickboard pushdowns. To work the same arm muscles as pushups, complete kickboard pushdowns in the water. Stand waist-length in the water and place your hands shoulder-length apart on the kickboard in front of your body, so your hands are near the edge of the kickboard. Use your arm and core muscles to submerge the kickboard in front of your body until your elbows are straight. Keep your abdominal muscles tight. In a controlled motion, bring the kickboard back to the surface of the water. Repeat 10 times and complete two to three sets.

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